De Doelen congress centre and concert hall in Rotterdam upgrades to d&b

De Doelen

04-06-2022 / Live /

Built in 1966, De Doelen is renowned for the acoustics of its main 2,200-seater auditorium, the ‘Grote Zaal’. Indeed, with its characteristic zig-zag patterns in wood and natural stone on the side walls combined with a new ceiling and a sound reflector, De Doelen is considered acoustically to be one of the world’s finest modern concert halls. Although mainly known as a classical music venue – it is home to the Rotterdam Philharmonic orchestra – it is also a stage for jazz and world music as well as high profile international events including the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Consequently, with something for everyone, De Doelen is Rotterdam’s most well-visited centre of performing arts. Recently the decision was taken to upgrade the sound systems throughout its four principal event spaces, which now boast a range of d&b systems designed and installed by Amptec.

The previous system had been in place since 2006 and was starting to show its age. The brief was to improve speech intelligibility, particularly in the Grote Zaal, and ease operation throughout, including in the three other rooms. Amptec was awarded the contract following a detailed tender with a carefully thought-out design, combined with a convincing demo. Acousticians from the renowned Peutz Group approved Amptec’s proposal and tested the simulation produced in ArrayCalc. They suggested a few enhancements which Amptec fine-tuned for optimum results.

For the Grote Zaal, Amptec opted for a powerful V-Series line array system with a flown sub array above the sound reflector suspended from the roof. The subs were supplied in white for minimal visual impact against the white ceiling. The largest acoustic hall in the Netherlands, this room is undoubtedly the jewel in De Doelen’s crown so it was important to get things right. Amptec specified d&b’s V-Series line array system as it offers high performance coupled with high directivity, especially when deployed with a cardioid sub array. This helps keep energy where it’s required and improves intelligibility. d&b’s patented ArrayProcessing technology was also used in the Grote Zaal to ensure that the sonic character is coherent throughout the room – the listening experience is the same for every member of the audience, regardless of where they are seated.

The three smaller rooms –Jurriaanse Zaal, Eduard Flipse Zaal and Willem Burger Zaal – all benefit from Y-Series systems. The Jurriaanse Zaal is a smaller version of the Grote Zaal capable of seating nearly 600 people and is regarded as one of the premier chamber music venues in the world. As well as the main Y-Series system, Amptec also provided subwoofers and lipfills that are built into the stage. The Eduard Flipse Zaal and Willem Burger Zaal are both more intimate spaces for live performance, workshops and lecture. In every case, the sound system was designed with directivity in mind to ensure that sound is only sent to where it’s needed, as far away from the walls as possible to eliminate unwanted reflections and increase intelligibility.

De Doelen now benefits from modern, high performance systems throughout the whole building that have measurably improved sound quality and eased operation throughout.

Partners in this project

Amptec connx
d&b audiotechnik
Digital Audio Denmark

De Doelen
Schouwburgplein 50
3012CL Rotterdam